The Baehr Essentials
Here is one way to look a the debt ceiling/deficit debate: From 2010 to 2011, total federal spending grew by about $250 billion, to $3.7 trillion. Absent any cuts, over the next ten years, it will be at least 50 trillion in total, likely several trillion higher, since interest costs are likely to rise, the estimated cost of ObamaCare subsidies is almost certainly too low, and estimates of economic growth (between 3% and 4% a year) are likely way too high, meaning that health and welfare costs will be higher than estimated.
The agreement reached yesterday reduces government spending by $2.4 trillion over this period, or less than 20% of the projected growth in spending estimated for the next ten years. Only with government, are baseline spending levels considered holy, and cuts (always draconian, according to the left) nothing more than reductions in the growth rate in spending.
Federal spending is now 25% of GDP, 5 points higher than in the Bush years, and probably headed higher unless GDP growth accelerates. Given that the GOP had limited leverage, short of allowing a default to occur, they did not do badly with this deal. They got the nation to focus on the deficits, and realize they were unsustainable. Obama showed once again that he is a weak leader, and at times a brittle, angry man. The left is apoplectic, favoring even more spending and bigger deficits. Paul Krugman's comment on ABC yesterday is astonishingly arrogant. Krugman will never admit that stimulus spending that temporarily preserves jobs, or creates new temporary make work jobs, will not reduce structural unemployment. Krugman was for using lots of stimulus money to save state and local government job in 2009, before he concluded two years later that this was not effective stimulus spending. In 2001, Krugman was a deficit hawk, decrying the Bush tax cuts, over 80% of which went to middle income people. Now deficits do not matter. As Gilda Radner would say, "Never mind."
In the dumb and dumber category, check out this gem from the lady who told us to pass Obamacare, so we could learn what was in it. The former speaker seems to need help with the English language, including the use of the word "some" .
"I don't know all the particulars of what the final product is in writing and what the ramifications will be," Pelosi said, noting the measure will have an impact for a decade or more. Asked about the outcome, she warned: "We all may not be able to support it or none of us may be able to support it."
My article at Pajamas Media.
Do you think it is just accident that gas prices have doubled under Obama? Cutting off domestic supply growth, and forcing the use of ethanol have not helped.
Norway is an insignificant nation. It is a lucky one, though, since it has lots of oil in the North Sea. A country probably best known for sardines and medals in the Winter Olympics is getting a bit of a once over, after the mass killings in Oslo and Utoya. The picture that is emerging is not at all pretty. This is not an excuse for mass murder, of course. What happened ten days ago was awful. But facts are facts.
Norway is the most viciously anti-Semitic nation in the western world. It has also crossed the line into justifying terror attacks against Jews . These are not marks of distinction. Melanie Phillips; Daniel Greenfield; Alan Dershowitz; Barry Rubin; Manfred Gerstenfeld, with an eye opening article:
Some of Obama's defenders with regard to his policies towards Israel, like to claim that maybe there have been disagreements on settlements (as in the past), but Obama has been great on Iran, and security ties. Now look at the region. Hezb'allah is fully in charge in Lebanon, and despite UN guarantees (the kind Obama values), has been resupplied with more missiles than before the 2006 war, and many more long range ones. Egypt is allowing record levels of weaponry into Hamas-controlled Gaza. We of course were full-throatedly calling for Mubarak's removal, but stuck with Assad in Syria, allowing him to mass murder his own people (over 1500 so far, with thousands more locked up).
But hey, things are going well in Libya, where the justification for war was to avert a human rights disaster. Iran is on the verge of completing its nuclear program, with enough material for several bombs, and missiles that can blast them 1,200 miles. If you were Israeli, would you feel more secure after 3 years of Obama policies in the region?